The end of law libraries?

Almost three years ago, I wrote about the evolution of law libraries. Many people I spoke with believed the law library would never go away, although the physical space might shrink as more and more research is done online.

Kresge Law Library, University of Notre DameBut a New York law professor believes law school libraries, at least, are going the way of the dodo.

“Legal education in the United States is about to undergo a long-term contraction, and law libraries will be among the first to go,” writes James G. Milles of SUNY Buffalo Law School in a paper published last week.

Milles attributes the decline of law school libraries to “the dual crises facing legal education”: the economic crisis affecting the job market and “crisis of confidence in the ability of law schools to meet the needs of lawyers.”

Milles does not believe libraries will disappear overnight but instead will erode over time as law schools continue to face budget issues.

What do you think—will future law school students have a library to visit?

(HT: The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog)

Search committee formed for new UM Law dean

haddonThe University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law has announced the members of the search committee that will lead a national search for a new dean.

Dean Phoebe A. Haddon will step down at the end of the academic year and return to the faculty.

The committee is chaired by Richard P. Barth, dean of the university’s School of Social Work. The co-chair is Barbara Gontrum, associate dean for academic affairs at the law school.

The committee will be working with an executive search firm and “hopes to conclude its work by March,” according to the law school.

The other committee members, announced Wednesday, are:

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Law blog roundup

Today is Monday, the 89th birthday of film star Lauren Bacall. Here are some news items to get your week started.

– Harper Lee moves to kill her copyright suit.

Enrollment drops at Washington law schools.

– Any bets on how this case will be resolved?

– Seattle newspaper compiles Justice Antonin Scalia’s “greatest hits.”

Law blog roundup

kagan_090501_mainHappy Monday and welcome to the unofficial official start of fall. Today’s the day when many of your favorite syndicated talk shows return from summer hiatus and new shows begin. (Don’t tell me what happens on “Bethenny”; I DVR’d it!)

Here are some law links to peruse while you wait for the return of Arsenio tonight:

– Everyone knows Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from litigation over Obamacare while solicitor general. But here’s why she did it.

– Did you hear about the law school student who is suing his school for making him retake a class he failed? (HT: Above the Law)

– Ms. JD explains how law school is like planning a wedding.

Here’s video of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaking Friday night at the National Constitution Center.

Law blog roundup

0120jurydutyimageWelcome to Monday, the first day of the 2013-2014 school year in many Maryland jurisdictions. Here are some news items to get the week started.

– Sequester hammers federal courts.

– So what’s the penalty for jaywalking in Iran?

– Federal judge strikes down Chicago’s vacant-building registry.

– Who really needs a third year of law school?

Law blog roundup

Jacques Vergès

Jacques Vergès

Welcome to Monday, the 20th anniversary of the Mattel/Fisher-Price merger. Here are some news items to get your week started.

– Should old age be taken into consideration by governors and parole boards?

– Defense attorney for Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie and Carlos the Jackal dies in Paris.

– Flurry of settlements may be imminent in Sandusky case, lawyer says.

– Law school fights disclosure of its students’ poor record on the bar exam.

ABA moves back law school graduate employment survey

law schoolThe American Bar Association wrapped up its annual meeting Tuesday in San Francisco. During the meeting, the ABA’s legal education section voted to change the graduation employment reports to 10 months out of law school from nine months.

The change was requested by law deans in California and New York who said “delayed bar exam results and admissions in their states put them at a disadvantage in jobs reporting,” according to the National Law Journal.

The measure was passed by only one vote and the controversy has already begun. (The new rule will go into effect for the Class of 2014.)
Above the Law has more from critics of the decision. It steps back from the vote to look at the bigger picture:

We are living through a crisis in legal education. Tuition is skyrocketing, people can’t get jobs, law school applications are cratering. And here the regulating body for American legal education has responded by changing the reporting date for entry-level employment from February 15th to March 15th.

What do you think about the ABA’s decision?

And Maryland’s newest lawyers are…

Earlier this month in this space, we noted how the bar exam results had been released. At the time, all that was available was a four-digit ID number.

Now, however, we have the full list of 462 names from the State Board of Law Examiners, which was also published in Tuesday’s paper.

Congratulations to Maryland’s newest lawyers!

Bar exam results posted

Rocky BalboaIf this blog post is the first time you learned that the results from February’s bar exam have been posted, I’m guessing you probably didn’t take the bar exam in February. Either way, here they are.

(This also gives me a chance to link to one of my favorite videos, “Law students reflect on the bar exam.”)

Congratulations to all who passed!

Bar raised highest in California

Bar exam

Prospective lawyers await the Maryland bar exam in 2010. (File photo)

It was either John Muir or Katy Perry who once described California as a place where “the grass is really greener.” Now we can add to the list of Golden State superlatives: toughest bar exam.

The Witnesseth blog has complied rankings of the most difficult bar exams based in part on bar passage rates from 2010 to 2011.

Arkansas finished No. 2, with Washington state, Louisiana (and its Napoleonic Code) and Nevada rounding out the Top 5.

Maryland finished 10th, four spots behind Virginia, which has bar exam takers with the highest LSATs, according to Witnesseth. Washington, D.C., was omitted from the list because of a too small sample size.

The news comes as Illinois announced earlier this month it would raise the minimum passing grade for its bar exam by four points. Maybe that will help boost its 32nd ranking.

In what state did you take your toughest bar exam?